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Intuit

What if my IRS refund is taking longer than 21 days?

The IRS issues refunds, not TurboTax. This means that we can't say for sure why you haven’t received your refund if it's been longer than 21 days since you e-filed. You'll have to speak directly to IRS to find out more about the delay.

Due to COVID-19, the IRS is currently experiencing delays in processing individual paper returns due to limited staffing. Paper returns are being processed in the order they are received, and this includes the issuing of refunds and acceptance of payments. You should e-file if possible.  If you’ve already filed via paper and it hasn’t been processed yet, don’t file a second tax return. For more info, visit the IRS 

If it’s been:

  • 21 days or more since you e-filed
  • 6 weeks or more since you mailed your return (under typical circumstances, however see the link above regarding delays).
  • Or if the IRS’s Where's My Refund page tells you to contact them

Then the IRS asks that you call them at these numbers:

  • For individuals: 800-829-1040
  • For businesses: 800-829-4933
  • For those with hearing impairments: TTY/TDD 800-829-4059

To have an efficient call, here's what you need to prepare.

There are many issues that can delay refunds, including ones over which the IRS has no control. Here are the top three categories:

Administrative requirements

Missing, inconsistent, or suspect information

  • The IRS found errors, inconsistencies, or missing info on the return. For example, you and a former spouse both claimed the same child as a dependent.
  • The return is under review, which can happen randomly.
  • The IRS suspects identity theft or fraud.

Delivery glitches

  • Your refund check could just be delayed in the mail. The reason could be as simple as a new postal carrier learning your route.
  • Electronic payments may be delayed by bank transfer and posting issues.

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